Updated: Aug 16, 2019
New York is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cities in the world. In the six years I lived there, I dreamt of photographing it from above. Finally having had the opportunity, I can say it truly lived up to my expectations! It was by far one of the coolest experiences I've had and should definitely be a bucket list item for many.
I had never ridden in a helicopter before, and I was super nervous, but the staff at FlyNYON are incredibly professional, and they make sure you feel totally safe, secure, and well informed on what to expect! The establishment is a big place that resembles more of trendy cafe than a helicopter take-off center. It's a clean and spacious place, with a nice cafe in the back equipped with anything you need from lattes, to snacks, to motion sickness pills. When you arrive, you are greeted by the friendliest staff who ask you a few questions and jot down your weight. They then direct you to hang out in the lounge area before heading in to watch your safety video (which pretty much just explains what you can/cannot bring with you on the helicopter). After your video, you are directed to the back where the staff provide harnesses for your phones, and strap you up. You're then driven about 5 minutes to the take off location where you board your helicopter. The ride was smooth, and the pilot makes sure you get sufficient photo time in front of each epic landscape.
Here are some tips before you embark on your journey:
1. Dressing appropriately for the weather is an absolute must! If you plan on flying in the colder months, wear warm clothes. We went in February and gloves were an absolute necessity. The cold air in combination with the high winds made our ride less enjoyable than it should've been. I regretted my ripped jeans after about 10 minutes in the air.
2. You MUST arrive an hour 1/2 before your flight. This ensures you will be there on time, watch the safety video and get geared up before your flight. There's a lovely cafe, with snacks, motion sickness pills, and whatever else you may need.
3. You cannot switch lenses while you're in the air out of safety reasons, so be sure you visualize the type of content you plan on getting so you can make the correct decision on lenses. We both had 10-18mm lenses on our cropped sensor cameras sacrificing the zoom capabilities. Unless you wanna get an up close and personal photo of Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, a wide angle lens is the best way to capture enough of your legs in combination with the city view.
4. I was fortunate enough to experience both a midday and sunset flights. I think next time, I'd probably go during the slot right before sunset. As incredible as it was to see the city fully lit as the sun went down, it was a little too dark for our cameras and so photos came out a tad too grainy. Midday was beautiful as well, but there was a haze over the city, so it all depends on what sort of views you hope to get!
5. If you have long hair, braid it! Jose and I sat across from each other on the fully doors off side of the helicopter. My seat got the most wind and it took me a while to detangle it. They also may make you wear some goggles. I thought they were ultra silly, so I took them off during the ride, which I ended up regretting because of my hair whipping all over the place
6. And for my last time, and most important one, enjoy the ride!
Hope you guys found this helpful and are now super pumped for your next helicopter ride over NYC! As promised, use the code eyeofshe35 for 35% off your next ride with FlyNYON!